Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the world’s sixth-largest country by total area. Neighboring countries include Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north; the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the northeast; and New Zealand to the southeast.
On 1st January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Since Federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The federation comprises six states and several territories. The population of 23.1 million is highly urbanized and heavily concentrated in the eastern states.
A highly developed country and one of the wealthiest, Australia is the world’s 12th-largest economy and has the world’s fifth-highest per capita income. Australia’s military expenditure is the world’s 13th-largest. With the second-highest human development index globally, Australia ranks highly in many international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. Australia is a member of the G20, OECD, WTO, APEC, UN, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, and the Pacific Islands Forum.
Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
– Water (%)
|7,692,024 km22,969,907 sq mi|
Population- 2013 estimate
– 2011 Census
|Density||2.8/km2, 7.3/sq mi|
|Currency||Australian Dollar ($) (AUD)|
|Time zone- Summer (DST)||(UTC+8 to +10.5)(UTC+8 to +11.5)|
|ISO 3166 code||AU|
Did you know Australia has the third highest number of international students in the world behind only the United Kingdom and the United States despite having a population of only 23 million? This isn’t surprising when you consider Australia has seven of the top 100 universities in the world! In fact, with over 22,000 courses across 1,100 institutions, Australia sits above the likes of Germany, the Netherlands and Japan, ranking eighth in the Universitas 2012 U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems.
These are strong academic credentials, but our institutions are just as highly rated as the cities that house them around the country. Australia has five of the 30 best cities in the world for students based on student mix, affordability, quality of life, and employer activity – all important elements for students when choosing the best study destination. And with more than A$200 million provided by the Australian Government each year in international scholarships, we’re making it easier for you to come and experience the difference an Australian education can make to your future career opportunities.
Do you have a specific study area of interest? There is every chance Australia has you covered, with at least one Australian university in the top 50 worldwide across the study areas of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, Life & Agricultural Sciences, Clinical Medicine & Pharmacy, and Physics.
Given this impressive education pedigree, it’s not surprising there are now more than 2.5 million former international students who have gone on to make a difference after studying in Australia. Some of these students are among the world’s finest minds. In fact, Australia has produced 15 Nobel prize laureates and every day over 1 billion people around the world rely on Australian discoveries and innovations – including penicillin, IVF, ultrasound, Wi-Fi, the Bionic Ear, cervical cancer vaccine and Black Box Flight Recorders – to make their lives, and the lives of others, better.
Why wouldn’t you want to study with some of the best minds in the world?
The Australian education system provides primary, secondary and tertiary education.
School education is similar across all of Australia with only minor variations between states and territories. School education (primary and secondary) is compulsory between the ages of six and sixteen (Year 1 to Year 9 or 10). School education is 13 years and divided into:
Tertiary education includes both higher education (including universities) and vocational education and training (VET).
English is the official language of Australia and the main language of instruction in the education system. Many schools offer bilingual programs or programs in other languages.
The Australian education system is distinguished from many other countries by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). The AQF was established in 1995 and is a national policy that covers qualifications from the tertiary education sector (higher education and vocational education and training) in addition to the school-leaving certificate; the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.
The AQF has 10 levels and links school, vocational and university education qualifications into one national system. This allows you to move easily from one level of study to the next, and from one institution to another, as long as you satisfy student visa requirements. It allows for choice and flexibility in career planning. All qualifications in the AQF help prepare you for both further study and your working life.
If you are studying an AQF qualification, you can be sure that your institution is Government-authorised and nationally accredited, and that your degree or other AQF qualification will be genuine.
Our institutions are linked across the country and across the world, which makes it easy to move throughout the education system between courses or institutions and formal agreement and recognition frameworks mean every step of the path will contribute to your future no matter what your study or career goals.
The costs of studying in Australia depend on the institution and the level of study you choose.
As an international student, your tuition fees are payable before you study. You can use the Course Search on this website to find courses and see details such as their tuition fees. There may be additional costs for your course, including course materials and access to institution facilities.
The list below gives you an indication of the range of course costs for different types of qualifications.
|Types of Education||Course Cost|
|School||$7,800 to $30,000|
|English language studies||Around $300 per week depending on course length|
|Vocational Education and Training (Certificates, Diploma and Adv. Diploma)||$4,000 to $22,000|
|Undergraduate Bachelor Degree||$15,000 to $33,000*|
|Postgraduate Masters Degree||$20,000 to $37,000*|
|Doctoral Degree||$14,000 to $37,000*|
* This does not include high value courses such as veterinary and medical. Please visit institution websites directly to see the costs of these courses.
There are many scholarships, grants, and bursaries which can help support you financially with your studies in Australia. They are offered by the Australian Government, education institutions, and a number of other public and private organizations. You can use the search tool available on every page of this site to find scholarships relevant for you, along with contact details for the institution providing the scholarship as all applications for scholarships are done directly with the providing organization.
Here is information about some of the major scholarship programs available for international students:
The Australia Awards aim to promote knowledge, education links, and enduring ties between Australia and our neighbors through Australia’s extensive scholarship programs. The program brings together scholarships offered by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Read more at www.australiaawards.gov.au
(IPRS) program focuses on improving the quality of Australian research. If you already have a graduate qualification, an IPRS scholarship lets you study in Australia with some of the best researchers in your field. You can read more about these scholarships at the Department of Innovation website. Or to search for the scholarships, use the search tool on this website.
JASON is a postgraduate scholarship search engine. Scholarships in the database apply to Australian students wishing to study at home or abroad, and to international students wishing to study in Australia. You can find out more on the JASON website.
All scholarships listed on our website are available to international students. Many are available to students of all nationalities, however all scholarship conditions are set by the institution or organization offering the scholarship and applications have to be done directly to the scholarship provider. To find out if you are eligible to receive a scholarship you must contact the organization offering the scholarship.
To find out what scholarships you might be eligible to use the search tool found on every page of this website.
Note: Our website does not provide scholarships and we are not able to provide advice on scholarship eligibility. Comments submitted with questions about availability of scholarships or eligibility for specific nationalities will not be posted or provided with a response.
Your Australian qualification will make you an attractive employee, not just to employers at home, but those in Australia and around the world as well.
If you are considering staying in Australia and working after your current visa expires, you’ll need to get a new visa that lets you do this. There are a number of options, so work out what best fits your situation.
If you completed a Bachelors, Masters or Doctoral degree, you may be eligible for the Post-Study Work stream of of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.
Alternatively, a new employer may be able to sponsor you for a new visa– talk to their Human Resources or Recruitment staff.
If you want to stay in Australia independently of employer sponsorship for a longer term or professional career, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect.
Wherever your post-graduation path leads, think about joining an alumni group from your institution. It will help you stay in touch with your classmates, and can provide you with great benefits and opportunities.
To begin studying in Australia, there is a range of entry requirements you may have to meet.
In some cases, you may need to provide results of an English language test. Be aware that the English language skill level required by an institution can be different from the level of skill required for your student visa application. You should carefully check student visa information on both the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) website and the institution website for any English language requirements.
The academic requirements (including evidence of English language skills) you need to study in Australia will vary depending on the level of education you want to study. Institutions can have different entry requirements, so read the course information on their website carefully and contact them to ask for advice.
Here is some general guidance on entry requirements for the different levels of study:
Tip: To meet the academic requirements of an Australian high school qualification, consider taking a Foundation course. Also called bridging study, they are intensive courses that will help you meet the entry requirements. They are usually one year long and are offered by most higher education institutions.
The student visa you need depends on your chosen course of study. As a guide, the typical key requirements you will need to meet are:
The DIAC website provides detailed information on student visas. It also has a Visa Wizard to help you identify which visa you might be eligible for.
Australia has a special system of health cover for international students called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). It will help you pay for medical or hospital care you may need while you’re studying in Australia; it will also contribute towards the cost of most prescription medicines and an ambulance in an emergency. When studying in Australia, you will need OSHC for yourself, and any family travelling with you, before you arrive. It is a requirement of your student visa that you maintain OSHC for the duration of your time on a student visa in Australia.
Courses in Australia are categorized into ‘Fields of education’, also called ‘Fields of study’. It is a classification system used by Australian institutions to describe courses, specializations and units of study.
Natural and physical sciences is the study of all living organisms and inanimate natural objects, through experiment, observation and deduction. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the workings of the universe, and to extend the body of scientific knowledge.
Information technology is the study of the processing, transmitting and storing of information by computers. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of information systems, programming languages, information management and artificial intelligence, and the ability to apply them to solve problems.
Engineering and related technologies is the study of the design, manufacture, installation, maintenance and functioning of machines, systems and structures; and the composition and processing of metals, ceramics, foodstuffs and other materials. It includes the measurement and mapping of the earth’s surface and its natural and constructed features. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the conversion of materials and energy, the measurement and representation of objects, and the operation of plant, machinery and transport systems.
Architecture and building is the study of the art, science and techniques involved in designing, constructing, adapting and maintaining public, commercial, industrial and residential structures and landscapes. It includes the study of the art and science of designing and planning urban and regional environments. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of integrating structural and aesthetic elements in buildings and environments, and construction methods, techniques and materials.
Agriculture, environmental and related studies is the study of the theory and practice of breeding, growing, gathering, reproducing and caring for plants and animals. It includes the study of the interaction between people and the environment and the application of scientific principles to the environment to protect it from deterioration. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the management and use of natural resources, and the production of primary agricultural products.
Health is the study of maintaining and restoring the physical and mental wellbeing of humans and animals. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the principles and practices of identifying, treating, controlling and preventing injury and disease. It is also involves developing an understanding of the principles and practices of providing preventative, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care.
Education is the study of the process of learning. It includes the theories, methods and techniques of imparting knowledge and skills to others. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the processes and methods of teaching and learning in pre-schools, schools, tertiary educational institutions and other settings.
Management and commerce is the study of the theory and practice of planning, directing, organising, motivating and co-ordinating the human and material resources of private and public organisations and institutions. It includes the merchandising and provision of goods and services and personal development. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the theory and practice of decision making and policy formation, organisational development, planning, financial management, and the marketing and selling of goods and services.
Society and culture is the study of the physical, social and cultural organization of human society and their influence on the individual and groups. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of human behavior and interaction, beliefs and values, cultural expression, and social structure and organization.
Creative arts is the study of creating and performing works of art, music, dance and drama. It includes the study of clothing design and creation, and communicating through a variety of media. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of composition, performance, artistic production, choreography, design and creativity, and technical production.
Food, hospitality and personal services is the study of preparing, displaying and serving food and beverages, providing hospitality services, caring for the hair and body for grooming and beautification, and other personal services. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the preparation of food and beverages, and the provision of hospitality services including housekeeping, cleaning and food and beverage service. It also involves developing a knowledge of beautification and beauty treatments.
Mixed field programmes are programmes providing general and personal development education. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop a basic understanding of reading, writing and arithmetic along with an elementary understanding of other subjects such as history, geography, natural science, social science, art and music. It also involves developing an understanding of key competencies and skills that are needed for job search activities, employment and personal survival skills.
Once you have been accepted to study at an institution and have received confirmation of your student visa, the next step is to start planning for your arrival.
Here is a checklist to help you plan your departure:
You need to be aware of what you cannot bring into Australia and therefore what you should not pack. It is illegal to carry drugs including marijuana, cannabis, heroin, cocaine and amphetamines in and out of Australia. There are a number of items that you must declare upon your arrival in Australia including:
You should also be aware that as a routine part of their work, Customs and Border Protection officers may question travelers at any time, and trained dogs may also be used to detect illegal drugs or prohibited imports. If you are in doubt, declare your goods or ask a Customs and Border Protection officer for advice. Declaring goods do not necessarily mean your baggage will be examined.
People who deliberately break Australian Customs and Border Protection regulations could be fined or taken to court. You can also find information at the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service website.